HM Prison Chelmsford

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HMP Chelmsford
Location Chelmsford, Essex
Security class Adult Male/Young Offenders Institution
Population 695 (as of December 2007)
Opened 1830
Managed by HM Prison Services
Governor Rob Davis
Website Chelmsford at

HM Prison Chelmsford is a Category B men's prison and Young Offenders Institution, located in Chelmsford, Essex, England. The prison is operated by Her Majesty's Prison Service.


Chelmsford Prison began as a county jail in 1830 before transforming into a Category B prison, a young person's prison, and a local prison. It was expanded in 1996.

In 1999 the management at Chelmsford Prison were severely criticised by the Chief Inspector of Prisons, after findings that staff were failing to respond to cell alarms five years after a prisoner was beaten to death by his cell-mate. The prison was also criticised for unacceptably bad conditions of cleanliness.[1] A further inspection a year later confirmed these failings at the prison.[2] In 2002, "conditions at Chelmsford...[were] condemned as 'poor and cramped' by the gaol's board of visitors."[3]

However in 2005, Chelmsford was praised in its inspection for improving standards and procedures for inmates at the prison.[4] This was confirmed a year later by the Independent Monitoring Board which praised the new management at the prison.[5]

On 25 December 2007, 18-year-old Abdullah Hagar Idris hanged himself in the prison after he was told that he was going to be deported.[6]

In January 2013, the Ministry of Justice announced that older parts of Chelmsford prison will close, with a reduction of 132 places at the gaol.[7]

The prison today[edit]

Chelmsford Prison accepts adult male prisoners and Young Offenders, convicted or on remand direct from courts within its local catchment area.

Education at the prison is contracted to Milton Keynes College, and courses offered include literacy, numeracy, information technology, art, barbering, journalism, cookery, ESOL as well as social and life programs. The prison's gym also offers physical education with industry-related qualifications, as well as recreational gym.

In addition the prison has links to, and facilities provided by, organisations such as the Job Centre and the Samaritans. There is also a Prison Visitor Centre operated by the Ormiston Children and Families Trust.

Notable former inmates[edit]

In popular culture[edit]


  1. ^ "UK | Lessons not learnt at 'dreadful' jail". BBC News. 1999-03-09. Retrieved 2010-03-20. 
  2. ^ "UK | Inspectors condemn 'sick' prison". BBC News. 2000-11-15. Retrieved 2010-03-20. 
  3. ^ "UK | England | Visitors board criticises prison conditions". BBC News. 2002-12-03. Retrieved 2010-03-20. 
  4. ^ "UK | England | Essex | Inspector praises improving jail". BBC News. 2005-01-13. Retrieved 2010-03-20. 
  5. ^ "UK | England | Essex | Praise for work to improve prison". BBC News. 2006-01-30. Retrieved 2010-03-20. 
  6. ^ "Criticism over death of teenager at Chelmsford prison." BBC. Wednesday 2 June 2010. Retrieved on 3 June 2010.
  7. ^ Danny Shaw (2013-01-10). "BBC News - Seven prison closures in England announced". Retrieved 2013-04-12. 
  8. ^ "Live at Chelmsford Top Security Prison: The Sex Pistols: Music". Retrieved 2010-03-20. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°44′09″N 0°29′11″E / 51.7359°N 0.4865°E / 51.7359; 0.4865